In most cases, both patients and caregivers or physicians have the right to protect their privacy and confidentiality and not to disclose their HIV/AIDS status to other people. However, there are also cases when disclosure is required for caregivers and physicians because of the high risks of transmitting the virus. Therefore, the controversy is related to the situation that physicians have fewer rights regarding the disclosure of their status than patients, and there can be cases when healthcare providers inform about their status (Butts & Rich, 2016; Pozgar, 2016). On the one hand, physicians may not disclose their status, but on the other hand, the specifics of their work require disclosure to prevent health risks for patients.
In the described case, it was legal and ethical for a physician assisting during the surgery to disclose the HIV/AIDS status and withdraw from high-risk operations and procedures associated with blood transfusion and injuries. Still, the problem is that the physician from the case could be unaware of the health status. In this context, it is necessary to refer to the policies and standards that require healthcare providers to take blood tests for HIV/AIDS during their routine check-up procedures (Butts & Rich, 2016; Pozgar, 2016). When healthcare providers know about their status, they receive the required treatment, follow safe practices contacting with patients and become informed in what cases they can report their HIV/AIDS (Varas-Díaz et al., 2017). An additional HIV/AIDS test for a patient is necessary to prevent or minimize risks if such situations occur. However, in this case, the physician is required to disclose his status, and at this stage, it is important to avoid bias and discrimination at the workplace.
Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2016). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Pozgar, G. D. (2016). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Varas-Díaz, N., Rivera, M., Rivera-Segarra, E., Neilands, T. B., Ortiz, N., Pedrogo, Y., Mendoza, S., Rivera Amador, A., Martínez García, S., Rivera Suazo, S., & Albizu-García, C. E. (2017). Beyond negative attitudes: Examining HIV/AIDS stigma behaviors in clinical encounters. AIDS Care, 29(11), 1437-1441.